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Making Science Accessible to All

Less than a third of Americans believe that scientists and other STEM-related professionals communicate well. Why is this the case, and how can science communication be improved? Alan Alda, an acclaimed actor and comedian, has devoted the second half of his career to answering these questions. He created the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science, focused on helping scientists communicate effectively with the public. Listen to hear what inspired Alda to take on the project and what he believes are the keys – and obstacles – to successful science communication.


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Story Length: 6:59

Listen to the Story:

Listening Comprehension Questions

  • In what ways did Andrew Carnegie’s libraries serve their communities?
  • How did Carnegie benefit from a library when he was growing up?
  • Which personality traits helped propel Carnegie from poverty to riches? Bring specific details from the story to support your ideas.
  • According to Carnegie, what should rich people do with their money and why? Why was Carnegie known as both generous and “brutal”?

Discussion Themes

  • In your opinion, what should really rich people do with their fortunes?
  • What does it take for a person to rise from “rags to riches”?

Socrative users can import these questions using the following code: SOC-1234

Listening Organizers

  • Fact, Question, Response

  • Language Identification Organizer

  • Deeper Meaning Chart